This Week – January 9, 2018

Sunday, January 13, 2019
9:30 a.m. Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship

Scripture: Galatians 5: 16-26
Sermon: “Do We REALLY Have To Do All This?

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Barb Okonek
Greeters: Tom & Barb Okonek
Ushers: The Worship Team

January Book Group – Sunday, January 13th
The Book Of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is the result of a 7-day meeting between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, two of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders, during which they discussed one of life’s most important questions: how do we find joy despite suffering?

All are welcome to join the conversation.

Your Leash is Back!
One of you loaned a dog leash to a young woman who was pursuing her runaway dog. She got the dog and returned the leash and thanked you again. The leash is hanging on the coat rack. We thank you for your kindness to a neighbor in need.

2019 Greeter/Usher/Flower Sign-Up
Be the 1st to sign-up to greet and/or usher on Sunday mornings in 2019. The ushers and greeters are an important part of our worship service. The Worship Team is always available and happy to assist if needed. Sign-up chart is in the Narthex.

Affirmed By Love
The Baptism of Christ

How many sacraments does the United Church of Christ celebrate? Don’t look ahead! Do you know the answer? Ask a pew mate. See if they know. Any more, or less than two is the wrong answer. Yes, other Christian denominations have more. No, marriage is not a sacrament in our tradition. We celebrate Baptism and Holy Communion. Both are, for us, about community, about being gathered and called by the grace of God and about sharing in the life of Christ.

For Baptism, it’s all about the water. We all use water. It’s just that some of us use different amounts.  It can happen at any age – from 1 hour old to 125 years­ – any age works. And, you only get one…no do-overs. Finally, baptism is a communal affair. It’s a ritual and a sign about belonging to one another so, most of us, celebrate baptisms during worship. Here’s a rundown of some of our practices.

THE WATER: It cleans and purifies. We speak of the one baptized as dying and rising with Christ. Thus, the water is a vehicle for going under it and rising up. Some people sprinkle water on the head of the person three times for each part of the Trinity, and some dip into the water with fingers and make a sign of the cross on a forehead and some, like Reverend Amy Lignitz Harken, Minister, Mattapoisett Congregational Church, have baptized in the waters of the Ocean. You can read her story on the Massachusetts Conference Blog. She says, “Standing on a beach under an overcast sky was as much a naked expression of faith as an ashy forehead smear on Ash Wednesday. And it moved them, and me, deeply.”

ANY AGE: Our tradition makes it possible for infant baptism. Parents speak the promises about faithful participation and discipleship and then, when the child is confirmed they repeat those promises. But, anyone can be baptized at any age. Who was the oldest person you ever saw baptized?

NO DO-OVERS: Some traditions say that you need to be baptized in their tradition. We don’t believe that the still speaking God keeps records about what words were used by what denomination when everyone was baptized. No do-overs are ever necessary.

If you want to know more about Baptism and the United Church of Christ you can find resources by going to uccresources.com.

Looking Ahead
January 13 Book Group – Following Worship
January 16 Church Council Meeting – 6:30 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
January 23 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
January 30 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Galatians 5: 16-26
Sermon: “Do We REALLY Have To Do All This?

Now that we are several weeks into 2019, how are your Resolutions going? Did you make any? And have you been keeping them/working on keeping them/abandoned them all together in a moment of self –despair? The second Sunday in Epiphany is the Sunday some churches remember the baptism of Jesus and invite Christians to remember their own baptism and the promises they made – or their confirmation and the reclaiming of those promises. How is that working out for you?

Prayer
May the light of God give us hope and the Power of God protect us.
May the light of God give us joy and the Peace of God calm us.
May the Light of God give us faith and the Grace of God fill us
this day and forevermore. Amen.

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